Being witness is context defined

When addressing witnessed presence in crisis situations, Parthasarathi elaborated on the media coverage of the Mumbai attacks, which only happened two weeks before. Parthasarathi argues that being witness is very context defined. If one is not part of a context and one does not recognize the context, one cannot be witness to this context and therefore one is not capable of taking responsibility for that specific context.

In the media coverage of the Mumbai attacks most attention was given to the Taj and the Oberoi Hotel, while the railway station was also heavily attacked and had at least as many casualties. In this choice of media coverage the social class of the reporters was of significant influence because for them the hotels were more familiar than the railway station. The ownership of the networks had an influence, especially because they would hire reporters from that kind of social class and one can build upwards to how the coverage happened. Reporters are not trained to take social responsibility and dynamics of self-correction are mostly defined by self-preservation, argues Parthasarathi. When an owner of a network makes a decision he does this as owner of the network and not as a human being. Commercial entities are not sensitive to Human Rights in such a case. To propose that companies, which respect Human Rights, may have a greater profit because trust values would be higher, may not be true globally. It may be true for certain companies in certain contexts at certain points in time.